Flu Tip – Don’t Be Your Own Petri Dish

Thursday, April 30, 2009
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

You can do a number of things to reduce your chances of getting the flu.  At the top of this list is maintaining a healthy digestive tract.  While the flu is a respiratory infection, it always incubates in your digestive tract before moving to your lungs.  A healthy GI tract can reduce the likelihood of viral replication as well as get your immune system into gear to deal with the problem.

The whole flu process gets going by breathing it in and then swallowing, or coming into contact with it, touching your face, and eventually swallowing the virus.  From there it goes to your digestive tract, where your first line of defense is death by hydrochloric acid.  This is not a good time to be on any acid-suppressing medication, which is clearly known to double your chances of getting whatever flu comes around.

A great deal of immune system activity is constantly going on in and around your digestive tract.  Half of your lymph system is located around your digestive tract to deal with “foreigner issues.”  You actually have more foreign cells in your digestive tract than cells that make up your body.  Your relationship with these nonself entities plays a large role in your immune competence.

For example, if you have too much candida albicans and too much of a hostile bacteria, these issues have already strained the immune function within your gut.  In many cases these foreign gangs of thugs are communicating to your front line troops, telling them not to work properly.  This makes it more likely that some other type of problem, such as the new swine flu, can get a toehold in your digestive tract and begin multiplying.

During a potential pandemic you should avoid all junk food, snacking on sugar, excess alcohol or anything else that interferes with your digestive processes.  It is a top priority to maintain your digestive tract in excellent working condition.

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